This topic, how to find joy, is my jam. I love sharing joy with women. Moms in the trenches, feeling overwhelmed and wondering if they can get through today, need a message of hope. I’ve been there…. hanging by a thread some days and not knowing if joy was anywhere to be found.
Well I am here to tell you it is! You can find joy right here, right now, no matter what is happening around you. Joy, true joy, isn’t dependent on happy kids, a healthy marriage, good body image, or a clean house.
Joy comes from inside, not outside.
The Bible says that joy is a fruit of the spirit. That means the Holy Spirit gives you joy and He doesn’t wait for you to be having a good day to fill you with it. If you read through Galatians 5 you can see plainly that joy is something we are filled with when we let go of our own desires and live by the Spirit.
This is not so easy and we fight against it at first. We want comfort and ease and happiness to just drop in our laps. We want our kids to do what they’re supposed to, we want no sickness, no money pressures. This is our nature and God understands this about us because He made us. But He also gave us a way to let go of our needs and be joy-filled by serving Him.
It’s basically the opposite of what the rest of the world tells us is real joy.
Don’t be fooled, my friend. Real joy is not in getting all of your demands met. True, deep, lasting joy is in the place of selflessness. And don’t worry if you’re not too good at it right away. You get the chance to practice it all day over and over. Each time your kids are driving you nuts, stop and breathe in the opportunity to find joy. Don’t blow up, look up. Take a slow, deep breath, accept that this isn’t what you wanted, then roll with it. Discipline cheerfully, look for ways to shine the light of Christ on the situation and move forward.
Last week one of my kids was carrying a big bag of flour from the car into the house. As he stepped on the porch, he wasn’t being careful and he dropped the bag. Flour exploded all over everything. Have you ever tried to get flour out of your hair?! It’s hard! It was between the porch boards, on the plants, it looked like a drug bust had happened at our house. Not to mention that I needed that flour for some major baking I had to do for our daughter’s wedding coming up.
It’s times like this that can steal your joy. But I held it together and used my arsenal of tools that the Lord has provided me with to see the flour explosion as an opportunity instead of a disaster.
Here are some of my tools:
Morning prayer and Bible reading
Start the day with prayer. It’s that easy. Instead of picking up the phone and checking social media or email first thing, talk to God for ten minutes. Then pick up your phone and open the Bible app (or paper Bible). Read and ask God to pour His wisdom into you so that you can conquer the world today for His glory. The world, in this case, is whatever surrounds you. Little things eventually become big things.
Make a goal
My goal that day was to bake cookies, but it wasn’t my main goal. Like you, my main goal every day is to raise my children in the glory of God, to further His kingdom in any way I can. So that bigger goal overshadowed the smaller goal. I say it out loud to myself every day, “My goal today is to glorify God and further the Kingdom through my children.” Then, when flour goes into every crack and crevice on my porch I have that goal in the front of my mind… getting outraged won’t accomplish it (and actually it also won’t get the cookies made any faster).
These things can seem so enormous in the moment, but we can remind ourselves to keep perspective. The flour won’t matter in a month, but our children’s hearts will. We can say to ourselves, “Take a step back, close your eyes, deep breath, get a hold of your thoughts and let your body relax. Don’t take it all too seriously, mama, those cookies aren’t your most important job.”
Look for something funny
There is always something to laugh about. If we can’t find it, we can create it! There are so many ways to add levity to a hard moment, even if all we can do is start laughing, dancing or singing. How different is the mom who yells from the mom who laughs?! Worlds apart in the same situation. It’s hard, for sure, but we do have a choice.
I definitely panicked over the flour, like I do over something small every day. But after a minute I realized that this was really funny. There will probably be flour on my porch for the next 10 years. That kid did have to find a way to help me buy more flour and we laughed and sang Disney songs as we swept up what we could. I kept thinking to myself that I wanted this to be a pleasant memory for him and not a nightmare. I wanted him to feel the instant forgiveness that I feel from God when I mess up.
So the next time we’re faced with a hard moment, let’s be armed and ready with those four tips. There is joy there waiting for us!
And if you’re looking for a great way to help your kids find joy too, be sure to check out Duck Commander Happy, Happy, Happy Stories for Kids in the FaithGateway store!
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Do you find to hard to find the joy in your busy daily life? What are some ways you look for the joy in everyday moments! We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!